Gift As Down Payment Option

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Using Gift Money For Down Payments
To take advantage of low interest rates while home prices climb higher and higher, some homebuyers need help accumulating enough money for a down-payment. To satisfy secondary market loan package purchasers such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and insurers like the Federal Housing Authority, lenders have strict rules about where down-payment money originates.

Lenders prefer that borrowers supply their own down-payment funds. It shows they have “skin in the game” and that they are good with money and can meet their financial goals. But thanks to the Great Recession and the slow road back to recovery, many homebuyers are turning to their parents, grandparents and other family or friends for help. Continue reading

Your Buying Power

rosetrellissmBefore You Look at Your First House

Experienced home buyers know that one of the first-steps in beginning a successful search for a new house is taking a hard, objective look at finances. Determining how much money you can dedicate to the purchase of your new house affects almost every aspect of buying a new home – including how we write the offer, which mortgage programs you will qualify for, shopping for the best mortgage loan and which homes are truly in your price range.

Here are the questions that each home buyer should ask:

  • How much cash is available for a down payment? The amount you have available for a down payment will affect what types of loans for which you can qualify. Learn more.
  • Am I ready to write a check for the earnest money? Earnest money is a cash deposit made to a home seller to secure an offer to buy the property. This amount is often forfeited if the buyer decides to withdraw his offer.
  • How much additional cash will be available to pay for closing costs? There are certain standard costs associated with closing the sale of a house. These fees are split between the buyer and the seller, as spelled out in the sales contract. Learn more.
  • What is the maximum monthly mortgage payment that I can afford? Most lenders will use the 28/36 rule to determine the maximum mortgage payment you can afford.

The 28/36 Rulespecialstyle
No more than 28% of your gross income can be applied to your mortgage, real estate taxes and insurance. And no more than 36% of your gross income can be applied to your mortgage expenses plus your regular debt expenses (car payments, credit cards, other loans, etc.).

If I may suggest, though: when you are ready to purchase your first home, please do so with the assistance of an experienced Realtor®, who has the knowledge of the local market conditions and can help you make the whole process smoother and with less hassle.

 

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